Do you ever stop and think about how much time you spend every single day sitting in front of your computer and staring at your smartphone? It is said that on average, we dedicate nearly two hours – 116 minutes, to be exact – of the 24 that makes up a day to scrolling, clicking, and fooling around on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Can you imagine how many substantially more useful things you could do with those two hours? Even if you’re not willing to completely give up on checking social media on a daily basis– which is borderline impossible unless you’re a lone wolf living out there in the wilderness after getting fed up with modern society -, it is very much feasible to cut down on the daily average, and take up reading instead. Reading nourishes the soul, broadens your horizons, keeps your brain and imagination in top shape, improves your focus and verbal abilities, and provides a form of entertainment that’s unlike any other (and as we all know, the book is always better than the movie). Although nothing compares to the smell and touch of a freshly-bought book, e-books are perfect alternatives for paper-based books if you’re not fond of carrying around the latter, and as long as you’re reading, the platform is irrelevant. To help you make the most out of your e-reading experience, we’ve collected the best e-book apps for iPhone. E-njoy!
1Wattpad – Read unlimited books and eBooks
Wattpad is a wholly free community-based reading app bringing you a vast amount of stories from a wide variety of genres including romance, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, comedy, and even fanfiction. The literary works available on Wattpad are brought to you by authors of all levels from amateur through up-and-coming all the way to world-famous, award-winning pros. Thanks to Wattpad, you can connect directly with writers, follow how the plot of their latest novel and short story unfolds, and leave comments on the latest developments. You can create your own library and take it with you wherever you go by saving your favorite stories and syncing your Wattpad account with other devices. To top it off, you can contribute to Wattpad’s ever-growing community and story collection by uploading your own writings, and there are monthly writing challenges in which you can live out your creativity and competitiveness.
2OverDrive – Library eBooks and Audiobooks
If going to the library gives you flashbacks of your toughest college exams, or you simply don’t have the time to go to the library (or, worst case scenario, you’re a notorious late returner just like us), OverDrive will be your favorite iPhone e-reader app of all time. With OverDrive, you can borrow titles from over 30,000 libraries worldwide. These e-libraries are not only open 365 and 24/7, but also save you from the hassle of having to return the books you’ve borrowed, as titles are automatically returned – which means that you don’t have to worry about late fees.
3Scribd – Books, audiobooks, magazines, documents
Scribd is a subscription-only app giving you access to an immense selection of books, magazines, articles, audiobooks, news, documents, and even sheet music for a monthly fee of $8.99. The publications available on Scribd cover an enormous array of topics from business to basketball, so whatever your shtick is as it pertains to reading, finding books and articles on the topics you’re interested in will require significantly less effort than reading Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita in Hungarian. The $8.99 subscription fee scores you 3 books and 1 audiobook per month (more available for additional fees), unlimited access to the largest document library in the world and to articles from some of the most prestigious periodicals such as Time Magazine and People Magazine. In case you’re thirsty for something new, you can explore the latest trending topics, enjoy personalized recommendations, and sift through tremendous hand-picked collections courtesy of Scribd editors, tastemakers, and business leaders.
4Kindle – Read eBooks, Magazines & Textbooks
With the Kindle app, you can turn your iPhone into a Kindle, the granddaddy of all e-readers – though do not take that in the most literal sense, as your iPhone won’t really morph into a Kindle the moment you launch the app, which is probably for the better. Putting silliness aside, the books you buy on Amazon will automatically appear in the app, and in case you have a Kindle Unlimited or an Amazon Prime membership, you’ll get instant access to Amazon’s ginormous collection of e-books, newspapers, magazines, graphic novels, and textbooks. You can thoroughly customize your reading experience (font, take advantage of unique features such as X-Ray and Page Flip, and get definitions and translations without having to leave either the page or the app. To facilitate smart shopping decisions, you can sample all e-books for free, and to ensure that your eyes stay healthy, you can adjust page color and screen brightness according to the time of day.
5Kobo Reading App – Read Books
The most striking feature of the Kobo Reading App is its clean design, which happens to be the cornerstone of an all-around smooth user experience and easy in-app navigation. But since there’s much more to Kobe Kobo than looks, let’s take a close look at what it brings to the table. First and foremost, it gives you access to more than 5 million titles, and, just as importantly, delivers a fully customizable reading experience. You can select the font type you prefer, adjust font size, lock the screen in landscape or portrait mode depending on which one you find more comfortable, and change to Night Mode for eye-pleasing nighttime reading. Kobo allows you to preview books before downloading them, supports bookmarks, notes, and highlights syncing across multiple devices, and last not least supports reading in 10 languages.
6Chunky Comic Reader
The snobbish opinion that comic books are inferior to other literary works has long been considered obsolete, and some comic book masterpieces – with Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman being a prime example – should be taught in high schools worldwide. Chunky Comic Reader brings an enhanced comic book reading experience to your iPhone via an impressive selection of advanced features. Smart upscaling gives a much-needed visual boost to low resolution comics, while the auto contrast/tint tool automatically fixes yellow pages and faded ink in case you’re reading a scanned vintage comic book. You can choose between two page views (single-page or two-page), post screenshots to social media, and, just like the responsible parent you are, passcode-lock comics you’d rather keep out of your children’s sight.
7Google Play Books – Books & Comics
Google Play Books gives you instant access to a vast catalog of titles covering all conceivable literary genres. Google Play Books is exceptionally generous, as you can read millions of books for free – though, to make things clear, that does not mean that you can get ahold of each and every book without having to spend a dime. Speaking of not spending a dime, you can read preview pages for free, and speaking of millions of books, an unlimited cloud storage is at your disposal to create your own library. Google Play Books offers a customizable reading experience, a nighttime reading mode, and offline reading, and also packs VoiceOver support. To tell you the absolute truth, Google Play Books does have its limits and the overall user experience leaves much to be desired – as it is evidenced by the raging reviews -, but it’s still worth downloading due to the millions of free books the app provides access to.
8Goodreads – Book Recommendations and Reviews
With over 35 million bookworm members who have added more than 1 billion books to their shelves, and a book catalog containing 12 million plus books, Goodreads is the largest book review site in the world, and as such, it can help you in broadening your reading horizons. Based on the books you’ve read and your favorite genres, Goodreads delivers personalized book recommendations, and you can get ahold of even more ideas by checking out what your friends have been reading. Goodreads comes equipped with a barcode scanner you can use in bookstores to add titles to your must-read shelf and to sift through reviews. To top it off, you can join the Reading Challenge to keep yourself motivated, join online book clubs, and see what literary events are about to take place in your city.
9FanFiction – 300,000+ books for fiction readers
It is the least bit sacrilegious to declare that fanfiction is a full-fledged literary genre. Even if the main elements of a story – e.g. characters and locations – are borrowed, the effort that goes into writing quality fanfiction should not be overlooked. There are entire message boards and websites dedicated to fanfiction – with FanFiction.net being a prime example for the latter. The FanFiction app brings the website’s features to your iPhone – including more than 150,000 fanfiction stories you can download and read offline and an ever-growing community in which you’ll certainly find fellow fanatics sharing your passion for the stories you can’t stop loving.
10NOOK - Read Books, Magazines, Newspapers & Comics
As NOOK is a product of Barnes & Noble, the US-based retail bookseller giant, it is only natural that the app puts a vast online library comprised of more than 4 million e-books, graphic novels, comics, and magazines right at your fingertips. Of the 4 million plus titles, over 1 million are available for exactly zero dollars, and you can also sample any newspaper or magazine for free for a duration of 2 weeks. Moreover, NOOK comes equipped with all the benefits of a fully customizable reading experience, a custom quote card editor to share soul-soothing and thought-provoking quotes with your friends, daily and weekly special offers, and customized recommendations.